July 10, 2020 at 10:45 pm
Joel E. Zurbano
The Makati City government padlocked an establishment in Barangay Pio del Pilar after authorities discovered it engaged in illegal online gambling operations.
Personnel from the city’s Business Permit and Licensing Office (BPLO) shutdown the illegal Philippine Offshore Gaming Operator (POGO) firm located at 7299 J. Victor Street for failure to secure a business or mayor’s permit, and for violating general community quarantine protocols.
Mayor Abigail Binay also ordered the BPLO to conduct inspections on other business establishments to ensure compliance amid the coronavirus disease pandemic.
On Monday, the Makati City Police raided the establishment and arrested at least 50 Chinese nationals.
The authorities conducted the raid following confidential information regarding an illegal POGO owned and operated by a Chinese national named Hua Xin.
Various laptop computers, electronic devices and gadgets, mobile phones, personal computers, broadbands, WI-FI routers and other gaming paraphernalia were seized during the police operation.
Police said the establishment also violated the government’s policy suspending all POGO operations and its service providers for the duration of the community quarantine in Luzon to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease.
Those arrested were charged with violation of Article 151 in relation to Executive Order 11 (General Community Quarantine), Presidential Decree 1602 (Illegal Gambling), and Republic Act 10175 (Cyber Crime) before the city prosecutors office.
Mayor Binay had declared an indefinite moratorium on the issuance of new business licenses and permits to service providers of POGO due to rising criminality and prostitution in southern Metro Manila.
She cited the “overheating” market for residential and commercial space and the rising criminality and prostitution as major reasons for her decision to stop more POGOs from operating in the country’s financial district.